Legal California Dispensaries Want to See Stronger Action Against Grey Market
Despite being a pioneer in marijuana legalization, California is dealing with an illegal marijuana crisis.
But according to The Hill, sneaky dealers hiding in the shadows are not the problem. The real threat comes from a much fancier, better-equipped source we all know as the “grey market.”
Unlike the black market, whose operations are typically clandestine, the grey market operates in plain site. They illegally provide marijuana (which was also illegally sourced) outside regulatory parameters. The worst part is that these establishments have not been effectively stopped.
This poses a serious problem for legitimate cannabis businesses, whose very existence is threatened by the grey market’s presence.
Appealing to Law Enforcement
There are understandable reasons why many individuals opt to use the grey market. The quality is better than street marijuana and the prices are lower. This does not still measure up to legally-inspected and quality-controlled marijuana, the difference is enough to keep customers underground.
Unfortunately, this is making it hard for legal dispensaries to flourish. According to The Hill:
“The legal marijuana industry in California is asking officials to intervene in widespread unregulated distribution practices in the state, saying illegal distributors are pushing legal shops out of business. The Southern California Coalition, a cannabis industry group, penned a letter Monday to Los Angeles City Hall asking for a crackdown on the rampant illegal shops…”
The “rampant” presence of these shops indicates that law enforcement has not made them a priority. What they seem to forget is that the legal market needs a solid backbone in order to rise above the illegal cannabis industry. At this point, legal shops need police support if they are going to push out the black and grey markets.
Dispensary owners want to see these illegal storefronts raided and their assets seized, just like with any other underground operation.
Concerns Over Safety
In their letter to City Hall, the Coalition voiced concerns over the quality of cannabis hitting store shelves in the grey market:
“Without needing to follow legal requirements to test products, the coalition wrote ‘there’s a high probability the …cannabis products in these shops are contaminated…’”
Again, quality control is a major issue. Grey market strains, despite their legitimate appearance, are not inspected by the cartels prior to finding their way into the hands of ordinary citizens. They could be covered in bacteria, fungi or even (on rare occasions) laced with harder drugs.
The recreational marijuana industry in California is quite new, having been established in January of 2018 – mere months before Canada finally legalized it federally. Both Californians and Canadians are painfully aware that legalization will not magically eliminate the illegal market.
Legal cannabis is still treading water in California, which is why illegal sales are such a threat. The Hill explains:
“The coalition also said the illegal shops are driving the legal industry out of business, because taxes and regulatory fees make it difficult to compete with the unregulated shops, according to the report.”
Government regulations, taxes and other related overhead are a harsh reality for legal dispensaries, with no way to overcome them. Consequently, competition will not stop the black market. The only option is a massive crackdown – something that police can undertake.
WeedAdvisor’s Opposition to Illegal Cannabis
It goes without saying that WeedAdvisor is very much against the manufacture, sale, purchase or consumption of illegal cannabis. While it may mean some savings for customers, the cost to our municipal, state and federal governments are massive.
As experts in various cannabis solutions for government and businesses alike, we plan to play an active role in offering assistance to safeguard areas like quality, safety and compliance.